Ontario’s WSIB Releases Preliminary Average Premium Rate for 2009

TORONTO, June 12, 2008 – The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has announced the 2009 preliminary average premium rate for Schedule 1 employers. The WSIB Board of Directors� decision to keep the 2009 average premium rate at $2.26 � unchanged from 2007 and 2008 � is based on careful financial analysis, and an expectation that improvements will occur in health and safety and return to work outcomes consistent with the WSIB�s Road to Zero and Prevention Strategies.

The decision comes after the WSIB sought input from stakeholders on the WSIB Funding Framework in February and March 2008. Discussions with employer stakeholders concerning premium rates were reflected in a revised Funding Framework, which was approved by the WSIB Board of Directors in April 2008.

�The Funding Framework confirms the WSIB�s commitment to ensuring the long-term viability of the workplace safety and insurance system,� said WSIB Chair Steve Mahoney. �We are committed to ensuring the WSIB�s financial resources are dedicated to improving the well-being of workers and employers throughout Ontario. Collaborative, aligned, and effective partnerships are vital to promoting prevention and better health care and return to work outcomes. Reaching and surpassing targets set out in the WSIB�s Five Year Strategic Plan 2008-2012, The Road to Zero, will ultimately result in the reduction of the unfunded liability (UFL) and more stable and predictable premium rates for employers.�

Based on the preliminary average rate, the WSIB has calculated preliminary 2009 premium rates for all employer rate groups. These will be posted on the WSIB website shortly. Later in June, the WSIB will present information sessions on preliminary 2009 premium rates for employers and their representatives. WSIB account representatives will also be personally contacting those individual employers who are expected to see a significant increase in their premium rate for 2009.

The WSIB is releasing preliminary rates now to assist employers with their financial forecasting and budgeting for next year. Approval of the final average premium rate for 2009 is scheduled to take place at the WSIB Board of Directors� meeting in late July.

The preliminary WSIB maximum insurable earnings ceiling for 2009 is $75,100. The final maximum insurable earnings ceiling will be set based on the April preliminary average weekly earnings aggregate, which will be published by Statistics Canada in June or July.

Ontario�s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) plays a key role in the province�s workplace health and safety system. The WSIB administers no-fault workplace insurance for employers and their workers and is committed to the elimination of workplace injuries and illnesses. The WSIB provides disability benefits, monitors the quality of healthcare, and assists in early and safe return to work for workers who are injured on the job or contract an occupational disease.

About WSIB

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) promotes workplace health and safety, and provides a workers compensation system for the employers and workers of Ontario. There is extensive information on this site about prevention, forms, health issues, return to work programs, and links to other health and safety organizations. www.wsib.on.ca.